Native Digital Relocating to Crossroads with 25 Employees

The upper two floors of the historic Mawell-Briscoe Garage building at 1612 Grand are being renovated for Native Digital.

By Kevin Collison

Native Digital, a growing marketing firm now based in Midtown, is relocating its 25-employee headquarters to a renovated building in the Crossroads District early this fall.

The firm is leasing the upper two floors of the historic Maxwell-Briscoe Garage building at 1612 Grand. The old garage, which opened in 1909, has been a derelict property for many years and is being redeveloped by Abbott Properties.

“We’re excited to triple our space and to get downtown and be more in the heart of things,” said Jake Jacobson, Native Digital vice president of growth and partnerships.

The company, which specializes in helping businesses and organizations tell their story through brand strategy, creative messaging and performance marketing was founded five years ago by Justin Watkins.

Justin Watkins, Native Digital founder and CEO

It’s currently located at 3502 Gillham and is bursting at the seams in its current 3,500 square-foot digs. The firm added 10 employees last year and three so far in 2020.

“The Covid situation made it clear how packed we were,” Jacobson said.

Shelby Mathews, creative director, said the design of the new downtown space will allow the company to demonstrate its creativity to clients while providing a better workplace for its staff.

“One of my goals for the new space is to be intentional about the layout,” she said. “How can we create an exciting experience for clients when they first walk in?”

The second floor entrance lobby will feature a large window with views of the Crossroads and the historic The Kansas City Star building which is currently undergoing a major renovation into office space.

The original brick walls and massive wooden beams of the former car dealership garage will be retained with some new flourishes.

A neon sign is being fashioned by Steinmetz Neon and Andy Thacker is creating wood planter boxes that will contain four-foot cacti.

The interior design of the new offices of Native Digital will retain the historic wood frame and brick of the old car dealership garage. (Photo courtesy Native Digital)

The large conference room will be enclosed in glass on one side and the other walls will have large windows to allow in ample natural light.

“The space should provide a great place to collaborate with clients and spark creativity,” Mathews said.

The first floor of the building will be part of Abbott Property’s new The Bardot event space which also occupies the building next door at 1616 Grand.

Jacobson said Native Digital has weathered the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic in good shape.

“We’re position well for continued growth,” he said.

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  1. I used to work at 1732 & 1734 Oak Street which looks like that but does now have a renovated front .
    The Brick is behind it . I am hoping to get an acquisition renovation grant of the area of Crossroads …

    not trying to bother but the greenfield grant in the area supported urban ecology ..
    the Crossroads could support new hemp and cannabis industry affiliate .

    I apologise about my poor grammar but kcollison will like this ;
    I am on a sentence structure coding type editor of the pre internet
    that can not make sense of partipulars on a reader .

    thanks and good luck with urban ecological renovation .

    as always best of luck with extending light rail . city manager
    will be the best choice of citywide light rail and space ready future .

    that’s all . have a nice one . good to see you online .

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